Bank Online, the digital evolution – an example with BNP Paribas


The French company made it a priority to succeed in its digital transition. A bank online has to invest in the enrichment of its mobile offers. In this competition, BNP Paribas hopes to rival with the standards of the new online bank contenders.

8 million is the number of “digital” customers that BNP Paribas claims at the end of June 2018. It’s an increase of 8% over the same period last year. This figure includes the 3 million customers to the Hello bank online offer (about 350,000 in France) and regular users of the online bank site or its mobile application or at least once a month. A reason for satisfaction for the banking group, which has planned to invest around 3 billion euros in the digital transformation in its strategic plan by 2020. One target in mind: strengthen operational efficiency and renew the client experience.

Forces and evolution for a bank online

The first goal today is digital transformation. All trades will be transformed quickly. This imposes demanding financial targets and mobilization of all energies: information systems, marketing, adapt the offers. It’s a natural transition for a bank online.

A mobilization such as it excludes any operation of approximation of magnitude.

In its strategy to move to “mobile-first,” it’s essential for a bank online to ensure customer loyalty and increase contact opportunities while attendance is down. The bank online has to multiplies initiatives to stick to new uses. It can be transferred between friends by texts or the mobile check scan.

The rise of digital-first

The customer is digitizing. The bank online needs to follow the tendency. Today, two out of three customers interact with their bank via the digital channel each month. A mobile application with improved functions must complete the offers of the bank online.

The announcements of BNP Paribas and the unveiling of the strategic plan last year gave rise to a boost and increased collaboration with FinTech. As part of its partnership with Plug & Play, the world’s first accelerator of startups, the bank accompanies more closely 30 Fintech.

The bank recently launched the delivery of dematerialized checks, which Crédit Agricole had pioneered in the summer of 2017.

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They launched the possibility of delivering checks in a un-materialized way, thanks to its smartphone, to the retail bank. This is just the beginning, but already more than 5,000 tests have been delivered this way in one month.  It’s still marginal on the tens of millions of tests they process per month, but they hope to reach 10% in the future.

bank online

Payment solution and achievement

As for payment solutions, the LyfPay application has been downloaded more than 820,000 times in the App Store. And is growing well thanks to exclusive partnerships for cashless payment at festivals. The app is today, “the second or third most downloaded financial application in France. It’s now integrated into BNP Paribas “My Accounts” application. Which makes it easier to access a bank online.

BNP Paribas was pleased to appear at the top of ranking achieved by the specialized D-rating agency and published in July 2018. As an online bank in terms of the number of features available and the leading traditional bank in experience score and customer experience, with 54 points, they are ahead of Crédit Mutuel (51) and Société Générale (48). However, it’s still behind new digital banks: Orange Bank leads the way at 63 points, the German N26 at 62 points, Boursorama at 58 points, and Fortuneo at 54 points.

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Despite this good score, D-rating highlights the delays for BNP Paribas in certain areas. Including the speed of opening an account that can be done online. Indeed, it’s necessary to wait 19 days between the signature of the contract and receive the bank card. On the contrary, the online bank Arkéa holds a delay of only four days, like the new digital banks.

Crédit Agricole has 21 million private customers in France, three times more than BNP Paribas (7 million). They claim the title of “the most downloaded and used banking application with 5.2 million users per year. Months to the end of 2017. The competition is evident for a bank online.

Nickel and Hello bank lead in the conquest

The traditional bank is the way of the bank online. The inspiration comes from the new digital banks. With its mobile banking offers, Hello bank gained 75,000 new customers in the second quarter of 2018, 9% more than in 2017. These numbers are challenging.

In July 2017, BNP Paribas bought a Fintech company: Nickel Account. It’s a “bankless account” that you can just open at the kiosk nearby your house. And it shows excellent satisfaction for the bank online.

The Nickel Account represents 10% of the market of bank accounts opening in France. They even reached a record in June with 1,895 openings in one day, and a connection every 15 seconds!

Nickel expects to reach a milestone of one million customers soon. Its high-end Chrome card has sold over 25,000 copies since its launch in May. It must generate more revenue than the basic offer of 20 euros per year.

These new offers of the bank online show dynamic growth. On the contrary, we see the decline of the traditional business of retail banking. Nickel, Hello bank, and all the others are highly profitable.